Journal Article

Glutamate, GABA and Precursor Amino Acids in Adult Mouse Neocortex: Cellular Diversity Revealed by Quantitative Immunocytochemistry

Elisa Hill, Michael Kalloniatis and Seong-Seng Tan

in Cerebral Cortex

Volume 10, issue 11, pages 1132-1142
Published in print November 2000 | ISSN: 1047-3211
Published online November 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2199 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/10.11.1132
Glutamate, GABA and Precursor Amino Acids in Adult Mouse Neocortex: Cellular Diversity Revealed by Quantitative Immunocytochemistry

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Glutamate is an important amino acid in the neocortex for metabolic and neurotransmitter functions. The objective of this study was to detect variations in cellular glutamate content using quantitative immunocytochemistry. We show that glutamate is present in almost all cortical cells and coexists with other amino acids such as aspartate, glutamine or γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The patterns of aspartate and glutamine content suggests that there are no purely aspartatergic or glutaminergic neurons. GABAergic neurons showed variable levels of the precursors such as glutamate, glutamine and aspartate. Comparison of immunoreactive patterns between two cortical areas did not detect any statistically significant differences. The mean cellular intensity for GABA and glutamate was constant across different layers. Surprisingly, we found that GABAergic neurons could coexist with either low or high levels of glutamate, suggesting that metabolic levels of glutamate in these neurons could be variable. Alternatively, some GABA neurons may utilize both GABA and glutamate for neurotransmission. We show that when variations in amino acid content are separately mapped onto individual cells, co-registration is a useful technique for reporting heterogeneity among cortical cells.

Journal Article.  8142 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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